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Dramatic Ammo Depletion

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Joel: [aims revolver and pulls trigger] *click* Shit!
Hunter: I know that sound... I've got you now, motherfucker!

A character (usually the hero) is being chased by an armed gunman (usually the villain). After some time of chasing, shooting, and loads of property damage, the gunman corners them. There's nowhere left for the character to run, and they cower in fear as the gunman lines their sights with their target's head, and pulls the trigger.


Nothing. Not even a misfire. The shooter's gun runs out of ammunition right when they can get the killing shot.

This can represent the shooter's recklessness, especially if they've been shooting wildly & destroying all sorts of items & scenery in their efforts to kill the hero without paying any attention to the state of their firearm. However, this is not a case of Reckless Gun Usage used by people unfamiliar with firearms, but about characters that are. This is a nice aversion of Bottomless Magazines. This isn't to be confused with Where's the Kaboom?, as that is for explosive devices, while this is specifically for guns.

It's not enough for a character's gun to run out at any point for it to count. The gun has to run out when it having ammo would allow the shooter to kill the target with a well-placed shot. This is why it's dramatic for the gun to fail at the one point they need them most. It's very rare for the audience to know that the weapon has no ammo, but the characters don't, but it's not unheard of. When dealing with handguns, this trope works a lot better with revolvers than semiautomatics — semiautomatics have their slides lock back upon firing the final bullet, leaving no questions as to how many rounds are still in the gun.

The inverse is Counting Bullets, where the hero counts how many shots the villain has fired and specifically analyzes the situation to their advantage. This is different from that trope in regards to the fact that in the heat of the moment, most characters can't be bothered to try to analyze such a hectic situation like that. Even then, if the villain isn't counting, and runs out at the last moment, it's an example of this trope, not Counting Bullets. Because the villain is not counting.

This is more often than not done with villains, but examples of this happening to heroes exist.

A variation of this is It Works Better with Bullets, where another character deliberately invokes this by removing the bullets from the gun beforehand or takes another step to make the gun inoperable. A Subtrope of Reliably Unreliable Guns. See also Convenient Misfire.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chainsaw Man: The gun Kobeni takes from Samurai Sword runs out of ammo before she can kill Sawatari with it. In the manga, it only had two rounds left, which she empties into him, then it dry-fires while pointing at Sawatari, forcing Kobeni to use Denji's transformed body as a Bulletproof Human Shield against the return fire. In the anime, the gun had five rounds, letting the pair exchange fire for an extended period, but it still runs out before Kobeni can get a clear shot at Sawatari driving away with her partner in their van. Kobeni also doesn't dry-fire, she just notices the slide stayed pull back.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: During the last battle with Diavolo, Mista attempts to fire several shots, but finds his pistol empty, since moments ago, Diavolo had erased time at that brief interval, Mista had fired all his ammo without realizing it.
    • Stone Ocean: After Jolyne manages to outsmart Pucci by delivering Jotaro's Stand disc to a carrier pigeon, Pucci attempts to shoot it down with a nearby gun only to find it out of bullets, allowing the bird to swiftly fly away.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Mai is a Mage Marksman with a six-shot revolver. When fighting her sister Maki in a practice battle, Maki starts Counting Bullets and rushes in after seeing her fire six in a row. However, this was a ploy by Mai, who can create a new cartridge in the chamber once a day and apparently uses a revolver specifically to goad people into making this mistake. Then Maki catches the last bullet, and Mai really is left defenseless.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kanryu Takeda attacks everyone with a gatling gun. In the manga version, when it looks like he's about to shoot Kenshin, he runs out of bullets, which Kenshin points out was bound to happen given the gatling gun fired 400 bullets a minute. In the anime version, the gun jams because Beshimi put a dart in the ammo belt.
  • The first episode of Sherlock Hound by TMS Entertainment has the villain attempt to shoot an escaping captive who's trying to clamber around the outside of the villain's hideout. However, the revolver used was taken from a mook who'd shot away the door to the escapee's room, leaving no unused cartridges in the cylinder. The villain conks the mook with the useless firearm in frustration.
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, Eva has LLENN pinned on the ground and shoots at her point blank, but several shots end up hitting her scan terminal which is an Immortal Object. LLENN then moves her head out of the way of several headshots, before Eva realizes she's run out of bullets.

    Comic Books 
  • Hitman (1993): In the "Ace of Winchesters" story arc, everybody is trying to get their hands on the eponymous rifle, as it's a gun capable of killing demons. Etrigan literally has to go deep into Hell in order to retrieve it. Tommy finally gets the gun just as he's about to be killed by the Mawzir, puts the barrel to the Mawzir's head, pulls the trigger, and... nothing happens. In all the excitement, nobody bothered to actually check whether the thing was loaded.
  • In V for Vendetta, Richard Almond, the head of the local Secret Police, terrorizes his wife Rosemary one night with a revolver, acting as though he's going to kill her. At the end, he shows her that the gun wasn't loaded, but he tells her that one day soon, it will be loaded. A few minutes later he gets a call with a tip on where V will be and immediately rushes to the scene. Almond arrives in time to get the drop on V, stands across a hallway with his gun pointed at V, and pulls the trigger... only for it to click harmlessly and Almond realizes with horror that he forgot to load it before running out the door. V promptly kills him.
  • XIII: Subverted in one story where XIII is hunted by mercenaries. He finds a rusty old revolver in a cabin, and when the merc shows up, gets one shot and two clicks... then shoots a bullet at the gloating merc.
    -BANG click click-
    Merc: You fired your last bullet, amigo.
    XIII: Two empty chambers in the cylinder before the last bullet, amigo. Must be the most threadbare trick in The Far West.

    Fan Works 
  • Double-subverted in Azumanga Royale, where Chiyo did make a point of counting how many rounds she fired from her six-shooter. Too bad she didn't check how many it contained in the first place when it was issued to her...
  • Lost to Dust: Yang Xiao Long runs out of bullets during her fight with Beowulf. Fortunately for her, Beowulf decides to put his weapons away and settle it with fists.
  • Morgan Freeman's Blessings on this Beautiful Hood!: Riley Freeman chooses a gun as his cheat item when he gets reincarnated into a fantasy world. Unfortunately, he didn't think to ask for infinite ammo, so although it is very powerful, he wastes all his bullets very quickly, rendering the weapon useless.

    Films — Animation 
  • Big Hero 6 has a variation. The climax has Yokai angrily lashing out at Hiro and Baymax with arms of microbots, he finally gets ahold of them, prepares for the final strike... and fails because he hasn't noticed the stray microbots getting sucked up into his own Cool Gate, leaving him with barely enough to stay in the air.
  • Ratatouille: When Remi and Emile are discovered by the old lady in the film's opening scene, she goes for the most extreme form of pest control available: a pump-action shotgun. She shoots the rats several times but misses, and when Emile is helplessly dangling from the ceiling lamp, she gets a clear shot as he cowers. She pulls the trigger, and nothing happens. However, she remembers to reload.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2 Days in the Valley: In the climax, Dosmo fools the assassin Lee Woods and gets the drop on him by Playing Possum, only for it to turn out that he'd already used all his bullets earlier in their shootout.
  • The hero (of a sorts) of Angels with Dirty Faces of course runs out of bullets in the final shoot-out just when he's completely surrounded with no seeming way out. This forces him to consider betraying the trust of his oldest friend, who walks into the shoot-out promising the police he can talk our protagonist down.
  • Back to the Future: After one of the Libyan terrorists guns down Doc Brown, they try to shoot Marty next, only for their gun to not fire. It's not clear whether the gun jammed, was out of ammo, or both.
  • Bet Your Life: Joseph has a bead on Sonny's back as Sonny is running away from him and squeezes the trigger, only to discover that he hadn't been counting his shots during the firefight and his gun is empty. By the time he's reloaded his gun, Sonny has disappeared into the bushes.
  • Blackthorn: After killing one of the Posse on the Uyuni salt flats, Eduardo sees the man's partner approaching. He raises his pistol, sights and pulls the trigger, only for the hammer to fall on an empty chamber. He tries again only for the same thing thing to happen. He reaches for his gunbelt, only to find he is out of bullets. He then searches the body of the dead man, but discovers he too was out of ammo.
  • In Commando, during a fight Duke (the big black Green Beret) has Matrix dead to rights with a revolver aimed directly at his head and after a Pre-Mortem One-Liner pulls the trigger only for a loud "click" to occur and he realizes he's out of rounds. Matrix promptly finishes him by impaling him on a handy bit of broken furniture.
  • During the final shootout scene of The Crow, one of Top Dollar's henchmen ends up running out of ammunition in front of Eric's face before he gets walloped and shot himself. Normally since Eric has Nigh-Invulnerability thanks to the crow, such a thing wouldn't have mattered anyway, but this power has been negated due to Top Dollar shooting the crow.
  • Deadpool (2016): During a shootout on a highway, one of the bad guys starts shooting at Deadpool with their rifle after he peeks his head out from behind a car. He shoots at him all the way until he runs up to Deadpool afterwards and takes aim, only to discover that he emptied his clip on the car. Deadpool points out his stupidity and promptly shoots him in the head. Played for Laughs, as Deadpool's healing factor means that having any bullets wouldn't make much of a difference.
    Deadpool: Someone's not counting.
  • The famous "do you feel lucky?" scene from Dirty Harry has Callahan telling the punk in front of him that, at that moment, the main thought going through his head was "did he fire six shots or only five" from his .44 Magnum revolver, and claims that he'd lost track himself in all the excitement. He had, in fact, fired all six, and knew it, but was bluffing the punk into giving up. At the end of the film, he repeats the speech to the Scorpio Killer, who isn't so lucky.
  • Defied in Django Unchained. In the finale, Django shoots Miss Lara and her entourage with his revolver, and Stephen, the head house slave of Candyland, then points out that he fired all 6 shots. Django promptly pulls out a second revolver.
  • In Fresh Meat, Gigi levels her shotgun at Officer Lance Nisbet's head and pulls the trigger, only for it to run dry at that moment. Nesbit responds by spraying pepper spray in her face.
  • Full Metal Jacket: In the climax at 'Nam, James "Joker" Davis searches for a Viet Cong sniper that killed several of his squad members. After some sneaking through a burning building, he finds the sniper and points his rifle at their head. He realizes far too late that his gun is jammed when it clicks and alerts the sniper to his presence.
  • Halloween Kills: When Michael Myers attacks Marion Chambers, she fires her gun wildly and misses every shot. Eventually, she manages to point the gun at his face, making him pause, and dramatically declares, "This is for Dr. Loomis!" Unfortunately, the gun clicks empty, allowing Michael to kill her.
  • Early in Hard Boiled, Tequila Yuen runs out of bullets in his .357 Magnum revolver just as he tries to shoot the mob hitman Alan. This proves to be very convenient later when he discovers that Alan has actually been an undercover cop all along
  • Subverted in The Hard Way. Nick gets lucky in a shootout where a man firing at him seems to run out of bullets. The cop knocks the gun against a newsstand, and shoots into it, demonstrating it had merely been jammed.
  • Into the Grizzly Maze: After Michelle becomes separated from the group, the bear corners her. Douglass arrives and unloads several shots at it from his high power hunting rifle, which gets the bear's attention and it charges him. Douglass keeps firing, hitting it multiple times without slowing it down. When the bear is almost upon, he pulls the trigger one last time at point blank range, only to discover he has emptied his clip.
  • James Bond:
    • Dr. No: Professor R.J. Dent tries to assassinate James Bond while in his sleep. However, the 007 agent knew of this and set up a fake dummy in his bed. Dent shoots the dummy 6 times, and the real Bond catches him. When Dent pulls his gun again and tries to shoot, the gun clicks empty, prompting James Bond to call him out on his mistake and kill him.
      James Bond: That's a Smith and Wesson. And you've had your six.
    • Licence to Kill: Pam arrives to save Bond when Dario is about to cut him and send him into a cocaine grinder. Pam fires two shots at him (one hits him) before her gun either jams or is empty. Bond pulls the distracted henchman into the grinder.
    • Spectre:
      • Bond is chased by Mr. Hinx in Rome and tries using the rear machine guns of his Aston Martin DB10... only to find out they haven't been loaded by Q before he "borrowed" the car. So he settles for the rear flamethrower instead.
      • During the fight against Hinx on a train, Madeleine Swann picks up Bond's discarded gun and shoots Hinx in the arm, forcing him to hide behind some boxes. She fires into the boxes, then as soon as the gun clicks empty, Hinx darts out and grabs her, forcing Bond to save her.
    • No Time to Die: Madeleine Swann guns down the mooks after her and her daughter, Mathilde. They only get captured when she runs out of ammo.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2: John Wick asks the Bowery King for a gun. The Bowery King hands him a pistol and specifically says it only has seven bullets. Although John is normally an expert in all firearm matters, he seems to completely forget about this. In a later fight, he quickly guns down six mooks, misses the seventh shot, and tries to shoot more only for the gun to click empty. After a brief look of surprise, he is forced to improvise by stealing weapons from downed mooks.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd's Evil Twin manages to line a point-blank shot on Dredd himself, only for the stolen Lawgiver to announce it's out of lethal ammo. Dredd wrestles the gun off of him and switches to signal flares before shooting back.
  • Jumanji: The ruthless hunter Van Pelt chases the protagonist out of their home after he is summoned from the game with a large lever-action shotgun. After some chasing, and even attacking a police officer, Van Pelt lines up a good shot on the protagonist but has already used his last shotgun blast.
  • Kate:
    • Kate has a gun at the head of a Yakuza boss and forces his mooks to drop their weapons. When she pulls the trigger though, the gun is either empty or misfires, so the mooks grab their weapons off the floor forcing Kate to fight the lot of them.
    • A Yakuza mook chases Kate into a bathhouse and tries to shoot her, only to realise his gun is empty. Kate shouts "Boo!" at him, causing the startled mook to slip on the wet floor and knock himself out. The men using the bathhouse (all elderly Yakuza judging from their tattoos) think this is hilarious.
    • Ani struggles to work out how to load Kate's pistol while Kate is in brutal hand-to-hand combat with Jojima. Ironically when Ani does work it out, she hits Kate instead. Jojima easily disarms her and goes to shoot Kate, so Ani has to kill Jojima with Grievous Bottley Harm.
    • During a Darkened Building Shootout, Kate and a mook both run out of ammunition at the same time and rush to reload before the other does.
  • The Killer (1989): Ah Jong tells Fung Sei that he always saves the last bullet, either for himself or for his enemy. Following the shootout where he says this, he racks back the slide to eject the round still in the chamber in order to show Fung Sei that he wasn't bluffing. Much later, Fung Sei has a shootout with Wong Hoi and his men to try to get the money from him on Ah Jong's behalf, but unfortunately, he runs out of bullets just before he's able to kill Wong Hoi himself. It does not end well for Fung Sei.
  • Played with in Last Action Hero. Through a magic ticket, Cowboy Cop action hero Jack and the Big Bad Benedict of his Show Within a Show are transported to the "real" world. At one point, Benedict advances on the pinned down Jack while firing his revolver and giving a Hannibal Lecture, until his revolver goes "click". Jack comes out of cover and taunts him about forgetting that, in the real world, guns don't have Bottomless Magazines. Whereupon Benedict reveals he had remembered that and had left one chamber in his revolver empty to provoke exactly this reaction and shoots the now exposed Jack.
  • Logan: Will Munson shoots X-24 with a shotgun several times until he is knocked out. Will then blames Logan for X-24's attack and tries to shoot him, but the shotgun is empty.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The First Avenger mixes this with Bottomless Magazines: During his escape from Dr. Erskine's lab, HYDRA spy Heinz Kruger fires a total of 14 shots, including 9 during the street chase, from a gun that holds only 8 rounds. Finally Kruger resorts to taking a boy hostage to draw Rogers into the open so he can get a clear shot, but just as he does, his gun clicks empty.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: In the final moments of his fight against Thanos, Tony's arc reactor begins running out of nanites and he has to shift his armor from limb to limb to both protect himself and continue his attack.
  • In More Dead Than Alive, The Gunfighter Wannabe Billy Valence beats outlaw Luke Santee to the draw, only for the hammer to fall on a spent shell in the chamber. He pulls the trigger again and again with no result, and he realizes with growing horror, that he never reloaded his pistol after murdering Ruffalo. Earlier in the film, Cain had warned him never to holster an empty pistol, but Billy didn't listen.
  • In The Matrix, Agent Smith and Neo have a shootout in a subway. They eventually end up on the ground with each of them holding their pistols at the other's head. They in turn point out that the other's gun is empty. They switch to Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • In Ready or Not, Grace manages to wrest a revolver off Charity in a Gun Struggle. She then tries to shoot Charity, but the hammer falls on an empty chamber, and she realises that all six shots had been fired during the struggle.
  • In A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die!, Sgt. Brent fires his Gatling gun at Col. Pembroke's feet; demanding to know where the hidden gold is. When Pembroke doesn't answer, he goes to shoot him but the Gatling gun runs dry. Brent quickly changes clips, but the delay gives Eli time to bring his own Gatling gun to bear on Brent and gun him down before he can fire again.
  • In Reefer Madness: The Musical, after Ralph completely loses it and Jack has to kill him, Mae realizes she can't put up with Jack anymore and turns on him. He tries to shoot her, only he'd emptied his gun into Ralph, so he can't defend himself as Mae bashes his head in.
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse: When Major Timothy Cain is surrounded by the zombies, he tries to shoot his way out. When that fails, he points his gun at his head, only to find it empty.
  • In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Irons wastes all his ammo shooting blindly around the RPD garage as a zombie dog stalks him, and once he's cornered, his revolver gives an empty click.
  • In Speed, this occurs when Payne has his shotgun on Jack and tries to execute him, but runs out of rounds. He quickly arms his dead man's bomb switch.
  • Steel Rain. A North Korean agent tries to assassinate Kim Jong Un while a loyal agent tries to protect him. There's a Gun Kata scene and the assassin tries to shoot the figure lying on a hospital gurney, only to find he's used his last bullet. He tries to grab a scalpel only to be tackled by the loyal agent. But then he's able to get hold of the other agent's gun and fires the last bullet into the patient...only to pull back the sheet and discover he's shot a corpse that's been left there as a decoy. South Korean special forces then burst into the room. Having failed his mission, the assassin releases the slide to make it look like the pistol is loaded and turns to face them...
  • Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat: Mardulak beats and wounds the villain in a Quick Draw fight, only to be out of bullets when he tries to finish him off with another shot.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day has a heroic example. Sarah Connor keeps blasting the T-1000 with a shotgun, pushing it towards the edge of a ledge above a pool of molten metal. However just as the T-1000 is about to fall off, Sarah runs out of ammo. The T-1000 heals up his wounds and starts taunting Sarah, before the T-800 arrives and blows it off the edge using a grenade launcher.
  • The Suicide Squad: Bloodsport's suit contains guns and ammo, and he always has a weapon handy even after being disarmed mid-fight. When the Squad faces Starro in the climax, Bloodsport finally runs out of ammunition after using them all over two days spent on Corto Maltese, and can only take cover while the rest of the Squad finish Starro off.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Skurge battles Hela's undead army with two machine guns. The bullets easily destroy the zombies, but the guns eventually click empty. He uses the guns as clubs against the rest.

  • Black House: Near the end of the book, during the press conference to honor the four heroes that stopped the Fisherman, Wanda Kinderling (a woman whose husband, Thornberg, went to prison for murder thanks to protagonist Jack Sawyer) decides to use this opportunity to kill Jack (since she firmly believes her husband was innocent and Jack framed him). While Jack and his friends are on the stage, she draws a gun and shoots Jack Sawyer multiple times, then shouts "See you in hell Hollywood", and aims the gun at her head... only to realize that, in her eagerness, she emptied the gun, leaving no bullet for herself.
  • Maul: Lockdown: Sadaki Blirr uses up all of her blaster's energy firing frantically at a carnivorous wolf worm in a room with no light or sound, and then becomes a sitting duck for it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In "Code Yellow", Deke tries to be intimidating by shooting Jaco after he emptied the clip on an unconscious Pax.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: Pablo confronts Kelly (who's possessed by a demon) at the high school dance, but can't bring himself to shoot her. She steals his gun and has no problem firing several shots at Pablo instead that all miss. Just when she has him cornered, the gun has run out of bullets.
  • Altered Carbon, In the episode "The Wrong Man" during a Elevator Action Sequence the Ghostwalker shoots at Ortega but her cop partner Abboud manages to dive into the line of fire to save her. At first it looks like Ortega's death is only delayed but the subsequent clicking of the Ghostwalker's gun makes it clear that he used his last bullet for the shot, allowing Ortega to survive the attack. Watch the scene here.
  • The Good Cop: Subverted when Tony is in a shootout with a Dirty Cop, who hears Tony's gun click empty. He goes for the kill, only for Tony to shoot him in the shoulder and reveal that he faked the noise with a plastic water bottle.
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). A variation when Spike is fighting hitman Gunther who empties his pistol, goes to reload only for Spike to grab his wrist to stop him inserting the magazine.
  • Daredevil (2015): In the season 3 finale, Dex runs out of ammo as he attacks Fisk's wedding reception. He aims his gun at Agent Hattley, who begs him to spare her, but his gun clicks empty when he pulls the trigger. So he throws the gun at her instead, knocking her out.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): In the season 1 episode "The Day that Wasn't", the Handler tries to shoot Five to stop him from changing the past, but Five uses his powers to dodge every shot. When the Handler can finally get a clear shot at him, it turns out she already used up her last bullet.

  • Invoked in The Goon Show episode "Six Charlies in Search of an Author":
    Seagoon: [typing] "Moriarty's finger squeezed the trigger, but there was only a hollow -"
    Grams: clank
    Moriarty: Sapristi! He's written in an empty gun for me!

    Tabletop Games 
  • d20 Modern's Cinematic Ammo Rules did not have you track individual bullets. Instead, whenever you rolled a "1" on your die, you missed because you were out of ammo and needed to use your next action to reload.
  • Feng Shui 2 foregoes the ammo tracking of the original game in favor of more dramatic ammunition rules. After the first sequence of any fight where you're blasting off with guns, you have to make a Reload Check based on the Reload Value of your current weapon for every attack you make with it until you fail. Failure on the Reload Check means you've run out of ammo and need to reload, and once you've reloaded, you don't have to reload again until the same shot on the next sequence. Autofire adds more damage to your weapon at the cost of accuracy if you add three or more points of damage (which is added as a penalty to your Guns AV), and at the cost of having to make a Reload Check immediately after your fusillade, with your extra damage added to the Reload Value, for this and every subsequent attack you make with it, even if you're blasting off on the first sequence.
  • Hong Kong Action Theatre also plays fast and loose with ammo, with your guns running empty upon hitting a 3 or less on D20 when blasting off.
  • In New Hong Kong Story, which is based heavily on the Heroic Bloodshed movies, nobody ever runs out of ammo unless they roll a Critical Failure. However, players can also reload their guns at any time for dramatic and gameplay effect before an important shot, as doing so voluntarily gives a small bonus to the next attack roll.
  • Spirit of the Century invokes this with the "One Shot Left" Stunt. At any time, you can declare that you're down to your last bullet, which gives your next shot massive bonuses... but that really is your last bullet. No extra clips, no hold-out weapons... even other Stunts can't prevent this. You are well and truly out of ammo until you take an action to acquire more, which may not be possible depending on where you're fighting. Definitely something you only want to invoke when that last shot will end the fight.

    Video Games 
  • A beneficial subversion happens in The Consuming Shadow. As the main character's sanity diminishes, the game can sometimes trick the player into attempting suicide via Interface Screw, leading to a short minigame where the player must resist the character's attempt to shoot themselves. However, if the player is entirely out of bullets and fails the minigame, the game-ending shot is replaced with a cut to black accompanied by the unceremonious but relieving click of the character's empty gun.
  • In Def Jam: Fight for NY, Big Bad Crow tries to have the leader of your gang assassinated. Your character chases the gunman into the subway, but he sneaks up on you during a moment of distraction and goes to shoot you, only to find out the hard way that he already used all his ammo.
    Trejo: Say goodbye, bitch! [gun clicks]
    Player Character: [Crack his knuckles] Goodbye, bitch.
  • Heavy Rain: During the fourth trial, the shark, Ethan Mars has to break into a man's home to kill him. Said man turns out to be an armed drug dealer. After he refuses to leave, the drug dealer punches him, pulls out a shotgun, and tries to kill Ethan with it. He chases him around the apartment destroying many of his own valuables and corners him into a bedroom. He lines up the shot and pulls the trigger, but nothing happens.
  • In Henry Stickmin: Stealing the Diamond, Henry can grab a rifle from an exhibit to fire it at some guards, except the gun is completely empty since there's no reason for museums to keep weapons with live ammunition.
  • In Life Is Strange's second episode, there's a scene where Chloe practises with a gun she stole from her stepfather in the junkyard. She hands the gun to Max to try when Frank (a drug dealer who Chloe owes a lot of money to) shows up and begins threatening the girls with a knife, causing Max to point the gun at him (giving the player a choice of whether or not to shoot at him). If you decide to shoot, it will turn out that Chloe had already used up all the bullets (but the fact Max was willing to pull the trigger is enough to scare Frank off and impress Chloe).
  • The Last of Us:
    • Exploited in the first game: While Joel or Ellie will start panicking if you run out of ammunition, it's possible to make other hunters try to come closer to you if they hear the clicking of an empty gun. Cue Ellie tossing a brick at them and giving you the opportunity to close in for a Finishing Move.
    • In the trailer for The Last of Us Part II, the antagonist has a revolver & pulls it out when she has one of the protagonists cornered. She hears noises coming from the forest & fires a few shots. When the other protagonist tries to attack her, she fires again but misses as the first protagonist grabs her and pins her down. She tries to fire at the first protagonist, but the revolver is out of ammo.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: If you attempt to shoot a surrendering enemy soldier with an empty gun, they will recognize the click with the series' signature "!" and immediately cause an alert.
  • In the PAYDAY 2 "Deathwish" trailer, an elite Bulldozer has gunned down 3 of the 4 heisters and was caught in the middle of reloading by Chains. Chains nods and slowly takes aim at the Bulldozer, only to hear that his gun is empty too before the two race to reload their weapons first.
  • A heroic version happens at the opening cutscene for Quake III: Arena. Sarge is blasting monsters with his Chaingun until he runs out of bullets ("Fuel Cell: Empty"), then he has no option but to hide behind a pillar.
  • Due to the nature of the game, it's entirely possible to have this happen in Receiver. You don't have a magic link to your gun that tells you how much ammo you have in your magazine. If you don't keep track of your bullets, it's your fault if you cause a flying taser bot to close in on you by shooting it and your clip is suddenly empty. The game models actual fire arm mechanics to the point where the semi-auto pistols will also fail to fire if you left the safety on or didn't chamber the rounds in your magazine.
  • The Walking Dead: Season One: In Episode 1, when Lee has his first encounter with a Walker, should he end up missing his only shot, all he can do is click the empty shotgun in horror as the Walker moves in and kills him.
  • The tutorial for The Wolf and the Waves takes place on a raft in the open ocean. When the zombies arrive, you always run out of rocks with one left, forcing you to shift into a wolf to kill it.

    Web Animation 
  • In DEATH BATTLE!: "Robocop VS Terminator": Terminator starts firing at Robocop with a powerful shotgun repeatedly as he approaches. When he finally aims the killing shot at his head, he's out of shells. Robocop responds with this.
    Robocop: 9 shots: you're out.
  • Nomad of Nowhere: In the 4th episode, the Nomad is cornered by the travelling circus' cow girl. She fires several shots at him from her revolvers while he distracts her with cream pies. Once he runs out, he's cornered and she aims both of her pistols at him and pulls the triggers...only to find out her revolvers are out of ammo. Nomad then uses his magic to cause the rest of her bullets to run away.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck: Andrew Hussie tries to shoot the Big Bad Lord English when the latter shows up to kill him, only to realize that he didn't think to reload the "deudly magnum" he lifted off Doc Scratch's body.
  • Maggot Boy: The Enfant Terrible Serial Killer Owen decides that it's Better to Die than Be Killed, grabs a gun from their erstwhile captor, and tries to shoot themself in the head, only to realize that the gun is out of bullets. Their absolute rage at the situation implies that it's happened before.
  • Sam & Fuzzy: It's shuriken instead of bullets, but this happens to Mr. Blank just as he's cornered Sam during the climax of the "Noosehead" arc.
    Blank: Huh... I guess ninja can run out of throwing stars after all.

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko: A Running Gag is Odd running out of ammo at the worst possible time. In Season 4, he is left defenseless against William twice because his arrow count suddenly dropped to zero. In both cases, it ends badly for him.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Duke Nukem chases down the Planeteers after they steal a vital part from his stolen air conditioner factory, firing at them multiple times. He wrecks their ride and prepares to blast them, only to discover that he used up all his energy during the chase.
  • Dragons: The Nine Realms: The Dragon Club finally gets the upper hand over the Fault Ripper, and almost manage to drive it off. Then Tom learns the hard way that dragons have limited firepower when Thunder's next attack is only a shower of sparks.
  • Love, Death & Robots: In the episode "Sucker of Souls", Flynn's gun runs out of ammo while he's fighting Dracula. Not that the gun was really helping.
  • The Simpsons: In "All Singing, All Dancing", Snake, while on the run from the cops, breaks into the Simpsons' house with the intent to kill them. He aims his shotgun at Homer and fires, but he's out of ammo. It's then Played for Laughs somewhat, as he methodically aims and fires at each of the other Simpsons in turn, as if the result will somehow change.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cant Count Bullets


Spy-crashed wedding

Ellie and Awesome's wedding is ruined by a firefight between Fulcrum and Team Bartowski.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeddingSmashers

Media sources: